Technology boosts efficiency – yes. Technology encourages creativity – certainly. Technology improves communication – absolutely. However, for all the benefits that technology has brought to our working lives, it also comes with a few downsides. One of the most prominent of those is workplace stress.
A new survey has revealed that nine out of ten workers get stressed when they have to use technology to give presentations at work. According to research conducted on behalf of Barco, battling with troublesome technology during a meeting can cause an individual’s heart rate to soar to 179bpm. Compare this figure to the average resting heart rate of 60-100bpm and it is clear to see that grappling with technology can be seriously bad for our health.
The impact of technology at work
Workers don’t just have to cope with the stresses of their jobs, they are often confronted with additional stress created by technology. Many of today’s roles involve some degree of technological know-how. From computers and mobile devices to video conferencing, businesses rely on technology to get the job done.
But it’s not just our stress levels that take a hit when technology misbehaves. It can also have a negative impact on our levels of productivity, innovation and communication.
Tips to overcome tech stress
If this is sounding familiar to you, here are some tips on how to overcome tech-related stress at work, improve your presentation skills and boost your confidence in meetings.
1 Understand the technology
Take the time to check the technology you will be using well before your meeting is due to start. The more well-versed you are with how it works, the less stressful things will be at the time. Learn a few trouble-shooting techniques ahead of time and know who to call if the worst does happen.
2 Know your content inside out
It seems so obvious but this is something that continues to catch people out: the clearer you are about what you need to say, the better it will come across. Make sure you know your topic like the back of your hand.
3 Connect with your audience
It’s not always going to be the case, but the same faces may appear in the audience if you present on a regular basis. Get to know those people and make individual connections where possible. If you feel a rapport with people in the audience it will be less of a ‘me and them’ situation.
4 Go note free
Easier said than done, of course, but speaking without notes can improve your presentation no end. Having notes may feel like an essential part of the process, but they may take your attention away from your audience. Learn what you want to say off by heart.
5 Practice, practice, practice
As with most things in life, practice makes perfect. Repeating what you are planning to say will help slow your pace, give you more confidence and help you better articulate the points you want to make.
6 Make sure your body language says the right things about you
Your posture, gestures and movement will all speak volumes before you’ve opened your mouth. Practice your stance to make yourself look and feel more confident. Eye contact is also a great way to connect and engage with your audience – so use it.
7 Be realistic
It may not feel like it at the time, but you’re not the only person who struggles with presentation skills. Don’t pile additional pressure on yourself; the best way to keep nerves at bay is to be realistic about what you can achieve. Address your anxieties and do everything you can to keep them at bay.
Manage workplace stress the right way
Taking the stress out of workplace technology needs to be a joint effort. Naturally, much of the responsibility lies with companies to make sure the technology on offer is up to the job. However, taking steps to manage your own tech-related stress levels is equally as important.
If you would like advice on how you can boost your confidence and improve your presentation skills in your current or future role get in touch with the team at Lucy Bristow. There are ways you can manage tech-related stress – you just have to know how.